Barito languages

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Greater Barito
southern Borneo, Madagascar, Southern Philippines
Linguistic classificationAustronesian

The Barito languages are around twenty Dayak (Austronesian) languages of Borneo, Southern Philippines, plus Malagasy, the national language of Madagascar. They are named after the Barito River.

The Barito subgroup was first proposed by Hudson (1967),[2] comprising the three branches East Barito, West Barito, and Mahakam (Barito–Mahakam). It is thought by some to be a Sprachbund rather than a genuine clade. For example, Adelaar (2005) rejects Barito as a valid group despite accepting less traditional groups such as North Bornean and Malayo-Sumbawan.

Greater Barito[edit]

Blust (2006) proposes that the Sama-Bajaw languages also derive from the Barito lexical region, though not from any established group,[3] and Ethnologue has followed, calling the resulting group 'Greater Barito'.

Smith (2017, 2018)[4][5] proposes a Greater Barito linkage with the following branches, and considers Basap to be a sister of the Greater Barito linkage, forming a Basap–Greater Barito group.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Greater Barito linkage". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Hudson, Alfred B. 1967. The Barito isolects of Borneo: A classification based on comparative reconstruction and lexicostatistics. Data Paper no. 68, Southeast Asia Program, Department of Asian Studies, Cornell University. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University,
  3. ^ Blust, Robert. 2006. 'The linguistic macrohistory of the Philippines'. In Liao & Rubino, eds, Current Issues in Philippine Linguistics and Anthropology. pp 31–68.
  4. ^ Smith, Alexander. 2017. The Languages of Borneo: A Comprehensive Classification. PhD Dissertation: University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
  5. ^ Smith, Alexander D. 2018. The Barito Linkage Hypothesis, with a Note on the Position of Basap. JSEALS Volume 11.1 (2018).